Now, more than a year on, it looks like she still hasn't got over it. She has been talking to The Australian about her new book, The Ship of Brides, which can escape the romantic ghetto by flashing its credentials as a historical novel.
When critics compared her with Maeve Binchy, Joanne Harris and Rosamund Pilcher, she was flattered. When they made her Romantic Novelist of the Year in 2004, she was perplexed. "I just thought I wrote big books with love stories in them," she says. "I guess I was guilty of assuming they were all like Mills & Boon.OK, so Mills & Boon don't publish "big books with love stories in them". Instead they publish little books with love stories in them, and those, it seems to me, are somewhat harder to write. Blaise Pascal famously apologised for a letter that was longer than usual, because he had not had time to make it shorter.
I was grateful to get it, of course.That would be the £10,000, then.
I think the RNA [Romantic Novelists Association] is being quite clever now; they even put Andrea Levy on this year's short list."Well, while that was good publicity for the RNA there are a lot of people who felt that it shouldn't have been shortlisted because, unlike Moyes' Foreign Fruit it wasn't really a romantic novel. In fact the RNA are changing the process by which they come up with a shortlist in order to ensure that the books considered by the judges really are the best romantic novels of the year, and not just a selection of "literary lite" novels with some sort of love story tucked in somewhere.
Not that I am entirely out of sympathy with Jojo Moyes (but that is for another piece). I do however think that while our cricket team are taking on the Australians in a crucial battle for the Ashes, the last thing that the readers of The Australians need is a whingeing pom.